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Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Sunday, 2011-February-20 • 21:50
I've splurged for a compartment on the train to Washington. I can be quite the elitist when the finances lean to green. Why am I paying an extra $100 to spend 19 hours on the choo-choo? I got aboard without standing in line. A nice man lifted my bag up the stairs without a snarky comment. I found my room, hung my coat in the little closet, unpacked my jammies, books, music, and snacks, sat on the wide seat, stretched my legs and remembered many other wonderful train times. When I worked in Tacoma I rode the train dozens of times. Often, just to Portland for a fun day trip. Many times to Minnesota on a 36 hour, two night odyssey through the Rockies. I've made these trips sitting in coach and lounging in compartments. In some crazy fiscal madness I used to get the room with bathroom and shower and ride across the old Great Northern route like a latter-day robber baron. Once, on a trip from Washington State to San Francisco, I went coach and somewhere in the Siskiyou Mountains, a cowboy was assigned the seat next to me. He got on the train just after midnight and by 12:30am was farting like a steam engine huffing its way up-grade. The sounds were off-putting and the aromas were disconcerting so I fled his flatulence to sit in the lounge and watch the dark speed by outside the windows. Somewhere around 6:30am I checked and he was gone. I returned to my seat, but was careful not to touch or put any personal objects on his seat...for obvious reasons. So, if given a choice between a lonely compartment and the companionship of coach, I'll take the solitude. It's good to be King.

It seemed like time for music. My earphones were hanging about my neck (I can't wear buds) and I returned them to my ears and powered up.

"Ohh whoaah....." Yes Justin Beiber. He seems like a nice lad. While I listened I looked out the window and decided to quit wearing blue jeans or sneakers. EVERY senior citizen I could see was wearing blue jeans and sneakers. Brilliantly white sneakers. And there is something very strange that happens to Senior Citizen Blue Jeans. They smell odd. I was going to write, "they smell funny", but there is nothing funny about it. Seriously. Their jeans are fine until they take their first Senior Discount and ...bang! From then on they just don't smell nice. At some other time I'll think about why that is, but trust me...it is true.

"You know you love me, I know you care
Just shout whenever, and I'll be there"

If you sniffed Justin Beiber's jeans they would smell just fine. I surmise.

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